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Top 10 vocal plugin's/ Dynamics Plugins
Old 22nd October 2010
  #1
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patsilva's Avatar
 

Top 10 vocal plugin's/

I am in dire need of some vocal effects mostly for rap but singing as well,so i was just wondering if anyone out there has any suggestions ,thanks !
Old 22nd October 2010
  #2
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onespecial's Avatar
 

Top 10 vocal plugin's/

psp vintage warmer. comp, eq. sweet!
Old 22nd October 2010
  #3
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Surbitone's Avatar
PSP Squad, PSP Old Timer & Stillwell Rocket should cover all your compression & EQ bases. Soundtoys & Lexicon native bundles would probably cover all your 'fx' needs, you may also find Schwa's CMX useful too. Also look for Pylorca's new SonEQ plugin & Acusticaudios Nebula.
Old 22nd October 2010
  #4
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After half a zillion hours of trying everything on my vocals, I've come to the conclusion that I can't beat:

Eoisis De-esser (amazingly flexible and effective at BEGINNING of chain)
Waves CLA 76 Black at 12:1 doing under 3db gr
Waves CLA 76 Black at 4:1 doing under 3db gr
Cytomic The Glue at 2:1 doing 10db gr in parallel with 15% wet sinal
PSP Classic Q doing gentle dip in low shelf and adding slightest air at 11k

(above will result in MOST compressed vocal I'm comfortable with... dial it down from there depending on application. I have found this is my best chain for male pop vocals and male rap vocals)

sends: Lex reverb or IR's combined with Echoboy should be all you ever need for basic verbs and delays. I've tried many choruses and don't really like any of them, though if I had to choose one, I suppose I'd go with the Nomad Factory.

and as needed:

Autotune: Better sound quality than Melodyne... no loss of high end

Vocalign: Holy schnikes is it EASY to use... and effective

Waves vocal rider: NEVER gets me all the way there... but it can save time in getting the process started.






And I've tried LOTS of other plugs like:

PSP vintage warmer: great tool for distortion... but not really a go-to for it's comp alone

PSP OldTimer: very transparent... but always ends up sounding a bit thinner than chain above

sonalksis: Their comp would be my next choice after above

waves api eq's: Good quality, but not enough control

Waves ssl eq's: Good quality, but doesn't have same quality for adding air

Abbey Road eq: Excellent quality, and extremely transparent on high end... but doesn't quite give the "sizzle" on top that classic q does. It may actually be due to distortion, but it sounds good.

waves ren comp: Nothing special

waves rvox: Nothing special

waves api 2500 (my fav for just about everything BUT vocals)

stillwell rocket (go-to along with api for drums)

stillwell bombardier (I want to love it... I just haven't found it's niche yet)

various de-essers (Never found one to compare... though I haven't tried DSM)

flux (syrah has often come in a close second in tests I've done... but never first)

Sonnox (always decent... never a favorite)

Softube cl1b (I want to like it... but it never survives blind tests for me)

Softube FET: Good... but has never won multiple blind tests I've tried

Softube eq's: Didn't work with enough for real opinion... but wasn't blown away

URS comps and eq's: Nothing special. Didn't spend much time with

Apulsoft eq: Great surgical tool... but can't do what sQuad eq's do
Old 22nd October 2010
  #5
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Marando's Avatar
Lately, my lead vocal chain (ITB) looks something like this:

Waves SSL E channel
Using both LP and HP filters, using the gate/expander to remove the noise during silent parts, and also engage the compressor section with a fast attack, pretty fast release, a ratio between 5:1 and 8:1 and I set the treshold so it has only up to 6dB gain reduction at the loudest parts. (so infact, most of the time you don't see the gain reduction leds lighting up)

Cytomic The Glue or Softube CL1b
I always try both and pick the one I think suits the vocal/track best!
The Glue: 4:1 ratio, 1ms attack, 400ms release, up to 10dB of gain reduction at the loudest peaks.
Softube CL1b: Ratio at 10 o'clock, attack at 9 o'clock and release at 11 o'clock.. aiming for 10dB of gain reduction at the loudest peaks

Waves API 550B EQ for male vocals
Shaping the sound of the vocal a little bit, most of the time I end up boosting 2 or 4dB at 5Khz, to give it some more presence, and a 2 or 4dB boost around 10 or 12.5Khz to give it some sparkle/air.

Softube Trident-A for female vocals
Somehow, I often end up with the Trident-A when I'm mixing a female vocal. It's probably because you start to get familiar with a certain kind of plugin for a specific task. But anyway.. Most of the time it sounds great with just a 1 to 3dB of boost at 150hz, 5khz and 12khz. Instant joy!

But like always, it depends on the type of song, the vocal, the type of mic used.. etc..

I have some send FX (delay and reverb) I add to taste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeAl View Post
[..]

Autotune: Better sound quality than Melodyne... no loss of high end

[..]
Sorry for going off-topic,

It's funny how you prefer Autotune over Melodyne.. it might be that the newest autotune improved a lot, but when I tested them side by side about a year ago, it whas easy to hear that Melodyne could deliver better pitchtune correction when compared to Autotune. When comparing two vocal lines, the melodyne version of the lead vocal sounded like there whas not pitchtune correction going on, it just sounded like the singer whas singing great, while autotune whas more present, you could hear the correction it whas doing to the vocal. Funny thing is, it reminded me like the sound you hear so much on the radio lately.. and I'm not pointing at the songs where pitchtune correction is applied as an FX, but where it is supposed to fix the singer's pitch problems.. But if the newest autotune version indeed improved a lot, I should check it out!! heh
Old 22nd October 2010
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marando View Post
It's funny how you prefer Autotune over Melodyne.. it might be that the newest autotune improved a lot, but when I tested them side by side about a year ago, it whas easy to hear that Melodyne could deliver better pitchtune correction when compared to Autotune. When comparing two vocal lines, the melodyne version of the lead vocal sounded like there whas not pitchtune correction going on, it just sounded like the singer whas singing great, while autotune whas more present, you could hear the correction it whas doing to the vocal. Funny thing is, it reminded me like the sound you hear so much on the radio lately.. and I'm not pointing at the songs where pitchtune correction is applied as an FX, but where it is supposed to fix the singer's pitch problems.. But if the newest autotune version indeed improved a lot, I should check it out!! heh
I actually prefer almost everything about Melodyne... except that it dulls the high end. Since I'm always trying to ADD a bit of sparkle, this turns out to be a deal breaker for me.

As far as pitch correction, if I'm looking to do a bit of transparent correction only, and am willing to spend some time on it, Melodyne has the superior tools.

Overall, though, it's the sound that matters, and I can get an acceptable result with either... but the autotuned one will always retain it's original sheen.

If Melodyne could fix this one area... I'd never use autotune again... except maybe for the extreme effect part... can't remember if I've tried that in Melodyne or not.


I've tried the trident maybe a half dozen times, and I just can't seem to find the right time or place for it... haven't given up, though. I know a lot of people swear by it... could be some hype as to hardware pedigree, dunno. I guess I just haven't made up my mind about that one yet.

550 eq quality is quite good, and if it had more comprehensive controls, I might use it.

Funny seeing you mention cytomic for vocals... when I started looking for a vocal chain, no one mentioned it in that context. Eventually, I thought since it was so transparent on MB, it couldn't hurt on vocals. Still experimenting, and I haven't preferred it as main vocal comp yet, but if you want just a but more squish with minimal artifacts and without thinning the sound, it certainly delivers. I love it in parallel specifically because it can be driven quite hard without sounding bad... and since I tend to have some transient issues, pounding the glue and mixing it back seems to smooth them out a bit.
Old 26th October 2010
  #7
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Marando's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeAl View Post
I actually prefer almost everything about Melodyne... except that it dulls the high end. Since I'm always trying to ADD a bit of sparkle, this turns out to be a deal breaker for me. [..]


I've tried the trident maybe a half dozen times, and I just can't seem to find the right time or place for it... haven't given up, though. I know a lot of people swear by it... could be some hype as to hardware pedigree, dunno. I guess I just haven't made up my mind about that one yet.

550 eq quality is quite good, and if it had more comprehensive controls, I might use it.

Funny seeing you mention cytomic for vocals... when I started looking for a vocal chain, no one mentioned it in that context. Eventually, I thought since it was so transparent on MB, it couldn't hurt on vocals. Still experimenting, and I haven't preferred it as main vocal comp yet, but if you want just a but more squish with minimal artifacts and without thinning the sound, it certainly delivers. I love it in parallel specifically because it can be driven quite hard without sounding bad... and since I tend to have some transient issues, pounding the glue and mixing it back seems to smooth them out a bit.
Thanks for explaining you issues with Melodyne. The thing is, I never had the problem with Meldodyne making the highs go away.. atleast, not that I have noticed. This makes me think.. I will have to check this out, maybe it's just that I never noticed it before. This could explain why I often add a few dB around 10 to 12Khz.. I will investigate this!

I absolutely like the API 550b eq from Waves. Often it is what I pick first when I need to color something. Most of the time I chose it when I'm going to boost some frequencies. Sometimes I use a combination of the EQ section of the SSL channelstrip and the API 550b.. whatever works for me I guess is a valid option! heh

As I said before, I also like to use the Softube Trident-A, but it doesn't work on anything. I prefer to use it on female vocals, strings, guitar and some synth sounds. It's the midrange that makes it stand out I guess. I allmost forgot, it sounds amazing on a rhodes!

When I don't need to give something color, but just fix somehthing with a transparant EQ, I use EQuality from DMG Audio.

You should check out the latest build of The Glue with it's oversampling. If I had to pick one compressor for all my compression needs, it would be The Glue! It works on so many sources and it's wet/dry option and it's range makes it very versatile!
Old 26th October 2010
  #8
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I've certainly heard lots of good things about EQuality, but never tried it.

If I was always ok with the set freq choices and didn't mind 2db intervals (if memory serves), then I'd have no issue using the 550. I do use 560 some for things like shaping bass. Even with all those sliders, my issue usually comes down to not being able to have enough control... I guess I've just been spoiled by things like apeq in the interface department (paragraphic? Is that the term?) Anyway, the SOUND of all the waves api stuff is phenomenal IMO.

I wasn't aware of oversampling on the Glue now... I wonder if it's a free upgrade for registered users. It does amaze me that after all the other comps I've tried, some do some very DIFFERENT things, but none really does basic transparent compression BETTER than the glue.

As for melodyne... there've been a number of theads on it. It's not that dramatic, and I could probably just choose to ignore it... but I was an hour into it one day... on my third verse doing micro tweaks when I decided to a/b with the untouched file just to see if the one phrase should be left alone. What I noticed instead was that EVERYTHING with melodyne on it was SLIGHTLY duller on the high end. I opened up another song, tried it... and same thing.

So... I checked GS and found a few burried threads of people complaining about the same thing.

That being said... I had worked with it a number of times and never noticed...

So... how big of a deal is it really? Probably not very... I just happen to be obsessed with vocals as I am a lousy singer, have a lousy input chain, and need all the help I can get ESPECIALLY in the sparkle and air department.
Old 26th October 2010
  #9
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Strut78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeAl View Post
After half a zillion hours of trying everything on my vocals, I've come to the conclusion that I can't beat:

Eoisis De-esser (amazingly flexible and effective at BEGINNING of chain)
Waves CLA 76 Black at 12:1 doing under 3db gr
Waves CLA 76 Black at 4:1 doing under 3db gr
Cytomic The Glue at 2:1 doing 10db gr in parallel with 15% wet sinal
PSP Classic Q doing gentle dip in low shelf and adding slightest air at 11k
Wow thats a lot of compression, with ratios multiplied you are looking at almost a 48:1 ratio without the Glue, but granted you are only doing a few dB of gain reduction on each. I really like the Waves CLA Comps, how are you setting up the attack and release one each. Are you using a fast attack first followed by the slower attack comp or vice versa?
Old 26th October 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CallMeAl View Post
Vocalign: Holy schnikes is it EASY to use... and effective
Sure, but cuts off the transients of the "vocaligned" audio tracks.
If you have high standards. Don't use it and let the vocalist work harder to get them aligned. At the end it pays off. 30 years ago we hadn't vocalign and did get musical music.
Old 26th October 2010
  #11
Lives for gear
I still find myself choosing Melodyne over Autotune. I don't think it particularly takes away highs, but sometimes it can garble them a little. Didn't somebody say that the new Melodyne products correct this? I need to upgrade...
Old 22nd January 2014
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Waves CLA Vocals is excellent for quickly getting a nice vocal sound that blends comfortably within a mix. It's especially good for rock vocals. Every now and then I work at getting a similar sound with other plug-ins, especially free ones, but no luck so far.
Old 7th July 2016
  #13
Gear Head
 

For pitching, harmonies= melodyne
For brightness and presence= waves CLA vocals
For harshness= chorus/distortion
Depends what sound ur going for but sometimes I even experiment sending a vocal through guitar rig, u can get some nice effects :P
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